I was in London a couple of weeks back, on some work. After work I thought about meeting a few lads who had come from India recently a few I know of. Reached south hall to the rendezvous point met up with the guys, went into the glassy junction for a couple of drinks.
As the conversation progressed I could feel some uneasiness among them, We were about 8 of us, my cousin one of them who had come on a 2 year Study visa, which was astonishing for me cause , my cousin is not intellectual types , to be blunt he managed to get through his primary education after lot of struggle, How he managed to get admission for higher studies in UK, I have no clue of, I did not even have knowledge that he was trying to come abroad, I had got a call a day prior to his landing.
Well it so happened that Two of the guys had to go back, as it was there SHIFT to sleep, Yes I was surprised, dumbstruck… on further probing found that there were 6 of them living in a room with a double bed, they had put an extra bed in the room, so 3 of the boys slept in morning as they worked nights, the other 3 slept at night cause they were on day shifts. The shift they were doing was 12 to 14hours, though they were being paid cash… it was far below the Minimum rate of pay. One of them was paid 2.75 an hour, that’s Shambolic.
Jobs are hard to come by because of the recession. Many young men and women are forced to work illegally beyond the permissible hours and are paid a pittance. They cannot raise their voice because it is illegal for them to be working more than 20 hours a week according to the visa restrictions, because they had come on Study visa. I really felt bad at the situation they were in , Why did they come to UK, the lure of pastures green, But it is not so, the current economic crisis, the Recession has taken a toll everywhere, work is very limited, too many hands available for the same job.
A large number of Indian youth are barely surviving that too with the generosity of the gurdwaras in SouthHall, so many have spent fortunes, lakhs of rupees, My cousin himself has had his father mortgage piece of land to secure admission in dubious British institution to obtain a valid visa. Some of the youth have arrived illegally.
The money they brought helped them for a month or two but what now, they are unable to afford the fee in such institutes or pay for their accommodation. A Cheap room in southhall costs about 40 to 50 pounds a week.
It’s still ok for the boys , but the girls are having a harrowing time, They are in bad state the ones living on their own, they are having to share with others, even boys, Back home parents are thinking there kids are living there life, IT IS NOT SO, the real picture is something different for those who are uneducated, come illegally, Or have come after taking admission thinking that the visa is for 2 years they can earn on the Side, IT IS NOT SO. My cousin has been for 6 weeks now, he has not been able to get a job, even in the farms or as labor. I don’t want to go into the stories I was told, because it upset me a lot. Why are the youth willing to spoil their youth to come here, I mean the amount of money they have spent to come abroad, if they spent that at home on some business or doing something it would still be better than coming here and languishing.
If I tell this to my RELATIVES they come back with choice of words, that since I am here in UK, enjoying my stay and making my life, I am only jealous that the rest of the cousins will come over, I MEAN WTF.
Things are really bad, Thanks to the Gurudwara sahib’s that food is available to the youth, otherwise they will be in so much trouble, they don’t have money to return back home too, It’s still ok for my cousin, he can come over to me or borrow some money from me, but on a bigger picture it’s not worth, spoiling your youth over it. None of them have Medical or insurance, if something happens what are they going to do.
Please please All who read this, Please make sure before you or anyone you know of makes a decision to come abroad, you have the facts right, Do your spade work, find out if it is really any worthwhile coming all this way, Wasting the hard earned money of your parents or even putting them under Debt.
Everybody hopes to live in a better environment socially and economically. But it’s not possible for people to get that without struggle. It is the responsibility of the person to determine how much struggle is justified for the cause. The cause can’t be worth it, if the existence occurs merely from hand to mouth. Like the very famous slogan: Dikhave pe na jao, Apni akal lagao :)